“See I rather be a freak, than not be unique… individuality makes life better.”
Winning Producer of the Year at the GRAMMYs, featured on everyone’s hook and slowly becoming one hell of a fashion icon, Pharrell Williams can do no wrong. But the 8-year wait since his last solo album is finally over with the debut of his sophomore project, G I R L.
G I R L displays the smoother side of Pharrell with soothing falsetto and many catchy hooks. This record is his time to shine as an artist after focusing so much time working with many other artists. He sings on the entire album, with the exception of his Blondie-like, 80s-styled rapping moments on “Hunter”. Sadly, no appearance from N.E.R.D, Neptune fans.
The brief but satisfying 10-track album contains an array of features from Miley Cyrus to Justin Timberlake, Alicia Keys and, to return the favor, Daft Punk of course. Not to mention, the Oscar-nominated tune “Happy” is included as well, which is playfully placed in the middle of the album.
Some highlights of the record include tracks such as the JT-assisted “Brand New”, “Lost Queen” with a very psychedelic, Curtis Mayfield-inspired second half, the groovy, Ska hit “Know Who You Are” featuring Alicia Keys and even the album opener “Marilyn Monroe”.
G I R L received some negative feedback from the public and it was not due to the content of the album. On the cover, Pharrell poses with 3 beautiful women but the issue that has been addressed is due to the fact that none of these women are black or dark-skinned for that matter. Although it does not seem intentional, it would have been nice to see more women of color on the cover.
The album had just a few misses with the absence of a N.E.R.D reunion, a handful of corny lyrics like in “Come Get it Bae” as well as being a bit shorter than expected. Waiting almost a decade for a second album, you would think Pharrell had more up his sleeve than just 10 tracks. Hopefully he drops some tracks that did not make the cut or pull a Justin Timberlake and offer a part 2 to the album. Either way, there has to be more.
Overall, G I R L certainly sticks to the theme with a combination of happy and sexy tracks for women everywhere, ironically or purposely being released during Women’s History Month. Pharrell certainly brings the funk with this collection of hits that has rather great playback value.
Check out Pharrell’s latest single from the album, entitled “Marilyn Monroe” below.